ATM Cost-Effectiveness (ACE) benchmarking

The ACE benchmarking project analyses the cost-effectiveness and productivity of 38 European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Europe. It examines both individual ANSPs and the Pan-European ATM/CNS system as a whole.

In addition to the publication of interim and final annual reports, an interactive dashboard containing the whole ACE data (2002-2021) has been developed. It enables the aviation community to build customised views on ANSPs economic performance.

Latest ACE benchmarking report (May 2023 edition)

This report is based on the 2021 data submitted by ANSPs in July 2022, and thoroughly reviewed by the PRU. It puts a special emphasis on changes in cost-effectiveness performance following the COVID-19 crisis and the progressive traffic recovery, including an examination of the mitigation measures implemented by ANSPs. This report also puts a special focus on how ANSPs capital expenditures have evolved compared to their pre-crisis levels.


(-25.3% vs 2020)

ATM/CNS provision costs per composite flight-hour


(-24.6% vs 2020)

Support costs per composite flight-hour


(-8.2% vs 2020)

ATCO employment costs per ATCO-hour


(+25.1% vs 2020)

ATCO-hour productivity

  • ANSPs gate-to-gate revenues rose by +19% in 2021, however they remained -45.% lower than in 2019.

  • Cost containment measures were implemented, and ATM/CNS provision costs fell by -€413M, mainly through reduced staff costs (-€223M) and lower non-staff operating costs (-€102M). When considering the savings already achieved in 2020, the cumulative decrease in ATM/CNS provision costs since 2019 is almost €800M.

  • Many ANSPs contracted new loans to respond to liquidity issues. Short and long-term borrowings reached €5.9 billion in 2021, which is three times higher than in 2019.

  • After a drop of -28% in 2020, capital expenditures rose by +7% in 2021. The situation at individual ANSP level is contrasted, and some ANSPs invested significantly more in 2020 and 2021 than in the preceding decade (on average per annum).

Latest ACE Report (May 2023 edition)

ACE 2020 Report

Executive summary

Main report

  1. Introduction
Main Chapters:
  1. Pan-European cost-effectiveness performance in 2021
  2. Trend analysis and COVID-19 impacts on cost-effectiveness
  3. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ANSPs financial situation
  4. Overview of ANSP capex and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on investment
  5. Forward-looking cost-effectiveness (2022-2024)
  • ANNEX 1 – Status of ANSPs 2021 Annual Reports
  • ANNEX 2 – Performance indicators used for the comparison of ANSPs
  • ANNEX 3 – Performance ratios
  • ANNEX 4 – Exchange rates, inflation rates and purchasing power parities (PPPS) data
  • ANNEX 5 – Key data
  • ANNEX 6 – Performance indicators at FAB level
  • Glossary

ACE Handbook

ACE 2020 Report

Learn about the scope of the ACE analysis, the processes involved in the production of the report, the factors affecting performance and the indicators used in the ACE analysis.

ANSPs factsheets and individual summary reports

Access information on individual ANSPs institution arrangements, legal status, corporate governance structure, scope of services, etc.

Access information on individual ANSPs cost-effectiveness performance (2016-2021), comparison with peers and historical information on capital investments projects.

For feedback or questions please contact the PRU Support Team.